Friday, January 30, 2009

part 1: john shade, your fortune's made by fol chen

If possible, I highly suggest having a chat with Fol Chen lead-man Samuel Bing. This will, naturally, lead to committing an act of low-level, madcap international espionage with the band as a whole. 'Cause if John Shade, Your Fortune's Made (2/3) isn’t the soundtrack to a night that starts with innocent intentions before snowballing into an over-stuffed getaway car hell-bent on a dance party suicide mission, then, well...your guess is as good as mine.

Fol Chen is universally loved around the Would-Be Hipster compound for all the obvious reasons. Of course, how were to know that their top-shelf Plastic Snow track was only scratched the surface for what was to come? Fol Chen has made a debut album that glows like Marsellus Wallace's brief case. I'm not kidding. If I listen to "The Idiot" one more time, this entire review might blissfully devolve into a Pulp Fiction style rant about the beauty of sneaking a touch of Prince-like vocals into your otherwise "romantic-core" style. (Less blasphemy, more creations of tasty sub-genres for the next generation of troubadours to hijack and awkwardly tag their output. Foot massage optional.)

At this point you're clearly wondering: who are these masked men (and woman)? What is this terrifying mission I inadvertently agreed to when I tore the cellophane off my CD or pushed the download button on Emusic? And what about the looming (Phil) specter of the mysterious John Shade? Well...I'm not completely sure. If we're to follow the cryptic clues left in musical form (and who doesn't look to their indie-rock for secret messages these days?) the mission is both varied and complex, with no two musical "orders" exactly the same. To survive to see part two, you'll have to delve into the very nature of belief, cram romantic sorrow down your throat like so much bitter wedding cake, traverse southern California under a red sky, (fire season?) and watch lots of cable TV with the same frequency and passion I keep hitting repeat on "The Idiot" (AHAHHA!)

Clearly, information on the enemy has sunk to an all time low. But he looms. Oh yes, he looms. Keep strong, fellow Would-Be Hipsters, Fol Chen needs you. Keep strong, and keep your romantic streak alive. But most importantly...keep dancing.

mp3: "No Wedding Cake" by Fol Chen


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